When you think of Indiana, you might be surprised to find out that it is among the top states in the country for using water to ship goods.
Indiana has three ports. One is at Burns Harbor on Lake Michigan in northern Indiana and two are along the Ohio River in Jeffersonville and Mt. Vernon in Posey County. Ports of Indiana CEO Vanta Coda III said all three ports accounted for an estimated 12.3 million tons of cargo in 2019, about 2 million less than in 2018.
Still, the number ranks Indiana among the Top 15 states in the U.S. for shipping.
“That’s why we’ve submitted to them (the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers) a proposal to that would have the portion along Lake Michigan and the southern portion as maritime districts,” Coda said to Inside Indiana Business.
He said this would have “great impact” in increasing visibility for the industry, especially within the U.S. Government.
Coda said it would certainly be helpful given the fact that 2020 has not been kind to Indiana’s shipping industry, as is the case with almost every industry in the Hoosier state thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Going into this year we saw a little softness,” he said. “We saw a freight recession coming at the end of 2019 so we budgeted down, but certainly not expecting what occurred here.”
Indiana saw about 30-percent less cargo coming in as a direct result of the pandemic.
As far as plans for a possible fourth port in Indiana, as proposed by then-Gov. Mike Pence, plans are still at a “standstill” according to Coda.